Master Meditation - Even if You Are a Perfectionist

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Perfectionism can make meditation more challenging--but there are ways around that!. BJI/Getty Images

Meditation can be especially difficult for perfectionists, at least at first. However, perfectionists are among those who could benefit the most from meditation, and perhaps may become some of the most committed to meditation once they master the practice. If you are a perfectionist (or if you just find meditation difficult), these meditation tips for perfectionists are for you!

The Technique

  1. Get Comfortable and Close Your Eyes. You probably already have this part down, right? Close your eyes, relax, and sit back to observe your thoughts.
  1. Clear Your Mind. Here's where it gets a little tricky for many people. Much like not thinking about pink elephants, trying to not think about anything can be quite difficult, almost ensuring that anything and everything will enter your mind! A simpler way to clear your mind is to focus on your breathing, the sensations of the chair against your skin, or the sounds in the background, without getting attached to them.
  2. Keep Your Mind Clear. As thoughts enter your mind (and they will), simply notice them, and let them go. Many perfectionists expect their minds to stay clear, and if thoughts enter, they feel they tell themselves they're "doing it wrong," which leads to more mental chatter. They key, if you're a perfectionist, is to congratulate yourself for noticing the thoughts, and simply let them go; think of this as part of the process, and a sign that you're 'doing it right'. This is what makes your meditation effective.
  1. Repeat Regularly. Try this a few times a week at first, and work your way up to nearly every day. It can make a big difference in your health, emotional well-being and overall stress levels.

Tips

  1. Start Slow. While it's best to meditate every day (or even a few times a day), this isn't the schedule to start with. Perfectionists tend to take on lofty goals, and then procrastinate or give up if it's too difficult, rather than accepting a less-than-perfect result from themselves. For best odds of success, start small and work your way up.
  1. Keep At It. Many perfectionists tend to feel that their meditation practice has to last half an hour and be completely serene the whole time in order to be effective. (And that type of pressure, they often give up completely pretty quickly, thinking, 'Meditation's not for me.') Actually, it's better to shoot for 5- or 10-minute sessions, several times a week. You can always work your way into longer sessions, but it's the regularity of practice that counts, especially in the beginning.
  2. Mix It Up. There are many different meditation techniques to try, so if one technique doesn't feel right to you, keep trying new meditation techniques until you find some practices that are a perfect fit. Here are some meditation techniques to try.

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